Intermediate Fiction with Ian Nettleton (ten-week course)
Take your writing to the next level and discover ways to make your novel or short stories stand out with this friendly, supportive, ten-week intermediate course led by expert tutor and published writer Ian Nettleton.
Ian has been leading sold-out fiction courses at NCW for a number of years. Through a combination of group discussion and one-to-one feedback, he will equip you with the skills and knowledge to progress on your writing journey.
The course runs 7 – 9pm each Tuesday for ten weeks.
‘Ian made everyone feel welcomed and the content was in small enough bite-sized pieces that I never felt overwhelmed with information.’ Lacy Lee
‘Ian has such a wide background and packs every minute of the course with information and advice. His attitude is encouraging and non-judgemental. He is the best tutor I have ever had.’ – Sheila Preston
Ian is also teaching an online course about science fiction from January. Find out more here.
How it works
This course takes place over ten weeks and is a natural follow-on to the introductory course in writing. Each week you will be given material that illustrates the points we cover and be asked to work on your own writing as the weeks progress. You will also be given short stories to read, ready for discussion the following week. During the last session, everyone will be given the opportunity to read out a piece of their writing for general comments and by the end of the course, you will be encouraged to produce a complete short story or the first 2000 words of a novel.
Week 1 – Creating compelling characters
We look at how childhood experiences can lead into writing fiction and the importance of appealing to the reader’s senses.
Week 2 – Drawing the reader in
How do you get the story underway while also establishing the world and characters of your story? We’ll look at how you can create a story that will draw the reader in from the very beginning, remembering that the first page is the reader’s way into the tale.
Week 3 – Point of View
From moral tone and mood to the language you choose, we look at how essential it is to use your character’s perspective deliberately.
Week 4 – Short fiction vs the novel
One might be focused on for a page or two, one might last for hundreds of pages, but what are the differences between the forms and what do they have in common?
Week 5 – Creating dramatic scenes
We’ll explore how you can heighten the drama so that every scene is vital in the telling of your story.
Week 6 – Genre
What genre are you writing in and does it matter? A key question when it comes to thinking about the market, but what impact does this have on how you write your story?
Week 7 – The world of your story
How real and how vital is the world of your story? We’ll look how to make sure you’re setting is more than just a boring backdrop.
Week 8 – Editing
Is every line necessary? This week we’ll focus on the importance of editing, questioning every word and every line.
Week 9 – The Big Workshop Part I
Week 10 – The Big Workshop Part II and getting your work out into the world
Ian Nettleton is from the north of England but he has lived in Norwich for two decades. His novelette, Falling Star, was published in a science fiction anthology, Angles, in 2008 and his novel, The Last Migration, was runner-up in the inaugural Bath Novel Award 2014 and runner-up in the inaugural Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award 2014. He is represented by Sue Armstrong of the Conville and Walsh literary agency. He has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia and teaches creative writing at the Open University (undergraduate and MA) and the University of East Anglia. He is currently editing a literary thriller set in Queensland, Australia, called Out of Nowhere.